“Black Mass” directed by Scott Cooper (as in director of Crazy Heart-eye roll) wasn’t a 10 in my book, but Johnny Depp deserves the Oscar for totally absorbing the persona of Whitey Bulger. Much like other pros, Phonenix’s Johnny Cash, Bale’s Dicky Eklund, you forget you’re watching an actor.
Describing the movie’s flaw is a tough one as it did fulfill many purposes:
*had an exemplary performance as the lead…and the Oscar goes to Depp!
*explained complex mafia war in a manner where I was never lost (though Patrick Radden Keefe’s “Assets and Liabilities”, New Yorker 9/21/15 was a great pre-read)
*had engaging actors and actresses in minor roles; for instance Dakota Fanning has overcome her 50 shades of ridiculousness to genuine acting!, Rory Cochrane was gorgeous as the sad eyed stooge friend
*added accolades to ‘the year of Joel Edgerton’, who was phenomenal as FBI agent and “Southie Brother”, and is another actor who I didn’t keep thinking, ‘oh yes, just saw him in The Gift’, another great transformer
*showed supposed caring nuances of Whitey Bulger
Maybe that’s the problem…maybe the story’s sum total is too large and thus sucks the emotional component out
OR even more possible, its tough to give a hoot about cold blooded killers and the guys who enabled them. Karma does rule in this story though and the most viral thugs are rotting in jail. And the Pope’s comin to Phili, so all’s well that ends well:)